Tanzania Human and Economic Geography


The population of Tanzania amounts, according to a 1998 estimate, to 32,102. 000 residents; the average density rose to 34 residents / km ². Tanzania has one of the highest demographic growth rates in Africa and on the other hand is notable for the particularly low value of the per capita income of its residents. The official capital, Dodoma, has remained a symbol: twenty-five years after the decision to move the new capital to the central region of Ugogo, the city has just over 200. 000 residents, while the old capital of colonial origin, located on the coast, Dār es Salāām, has almost 2millions. The country welcomes numerous Hutu refugees, partly from Rwanda and Burundi.

Economic conditions

According to topschoolsintheusa, Tanzania remains one of the poorest countries in the world; the living conditions of the residents remain very backward and, although the Arusha Declaration of 1967 identified the problems of health, education and poverty as the priorities on which to direct the action of the Executive, much still remains to be done. Policies in support of the primary sector also did not have significant effects; the industry has repeatedly bordered on collapse and the current guidelines of public spending, having abandoned the five-year plans, still have as their object health, education and infrastructure objectives for the territory (transport).

Agriculture and livestock are by far the most important productive activities, but they do not cover internal food needs, which are constantly growing, causing ever lower subsistence economy levels in the population of rural areas. The adverse climatic conditions make harvests even more precarious (the drought of 1996 – 97 almost halved the total quantities). The search for new arable land and new pastures induces the population to occupy even the most peripheral and marginal areas and to exploit them in an irrational way, causing their rapid degradation. Among the commercial crops there are some that supply significant export flows: coffee (340. 000 q products in 1998 ; 18 % of the total value of exports), cotton (540. 000 fiber q; 16.3 %), tobacco and cloves; the trade balance, however, remains chronically passive. The contribution of manufacturing industries is modest (6.1 % of GDP); moreover, the exploitation of mineral resources marks the step, with the exception of some initiatives aimed at the exploration of hydrocarbons. Tourism, which is emerging in the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba (326. 000 arrivals in 1997), represents a promising resource, still largely in its potential state. Favorable expectations are linked to the recent devaluation of the shilling.

The economic difficulties facing the country and the ever looming risk of food insecurity contribute to maintaining a permanent tension between the different populations and have raised dangerous separatist aspirations among the Muslims of Zanzibar, in the wake of the global rebirth of Islamism.

In recent years, President Mkapa, elected in November 1995, has initiated a policy of combating corruption and rigorous administrative management, a policy that has led the International Monetary Fund to grant Tanzania some lines of credit, promptly followed by others. international aid, thanks to which an improvement in the external accounts and in the general economic situation should be allowed.

The island of Zanzibar

Unified with Tanganyika in 1964, Zanzibar has always maintained a certain degree of autonomy, especially as regards internal affairs. The island has its own bicameral parliament, elected on a five-year basis like the Tanzanian one. Five representatives of the parliament of Zanzibar have a seat by right in the national seat of Tanzania. In 2000 the presidential elections took place which saw the victory of the vice president of the CCM Amani Abeid Karume (later confirmed in 2005), son of the first president of the island. This casts serious doubts on the transparency of the island’s political system.

Tanzania Population